The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) plans to develop a new standard for global occupational health and safety (OH&S) following the recent Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh.

It said the project's goal will be to provide governmental agencies, industry, and other stakeholders with effective, usable guidance for improving worker safety in countries around the world.

"This proposed occupational health and safety standard represents one of the most significant consensus standards activities in the last 50 years," said Joe Bhatia, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) president and CEO. "It has the potential to significantly and positively impact occupational health and safety management on a global level."

ANSI and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) are seeking participants for a US Technical Advisory Group to help drive the project forward.

"Time and time again we've seen how investment in OH&S management can help to make work environments safer, while also serving to improve overall organizational performance and boosting the bottom line," said ASSE president Kathy Seabrook.